French president Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday the launch of a new space military command during a speech on the eve of the Bastille Day celebrations in France.

Speaking in front of a military audience at the French Defense ministry in Paris, the president added that the new command would eventually be part of his country’s air force.

The investment involved has yet to be determined.

“To give substance to this doctrine and ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a space command will be created next September in the air force,” Macron said.

French Defense Minister Florence Parly said last year she was committed to giving France strategic space autonomy in the face of growing threats from other powers amid a race in space militarisation.

The French military spending programme for 2019-2025 has earmarked 3.6 billion euros for investments and renewal of French satellites.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation aims to recognise space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats told Reuters in June.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced a plan last year to create a new “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.


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